The Truth About Cars » exotic car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 02 Sep 2015 22:11:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » exotic car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Ultimate Fit: Aston Martin Van Damn! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ultimate-fit-aston-martin-van-damn/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ultimate-fit-aston-martin-van-damn/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 12:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092177 Introducing a brand new column at TTAC: The Ultimate Fit, where you get to figure out the unfortunate souls who would best fit for the rolling relics of the used car world. Let’s take this 15 year old, 3-door Chrysler minivan with only 59,000 original miles. Better yet, you take it and try to find the perfect buyer. […]

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2000 Chrysler Voyager

Introducing a brand new column at TTAC: The Ultimate Fit, where you get to figure out the unfortunate souls who would best fit for the rolling relics of the used car world.

Let’s take this 15 year old, 3-door Chrysler minivan with only 59,000 original miles. Better yet, you take it and try to find the perfect buyer.

2000 Chrysler Voyager

This 2000 Chrysler Voyager represents the best and worst of the Clinton Era minivans. On the plus side, you get a stunning lack of standard features that were doomed to fail somewhere between the Al Gore presidential campaign and the undoing of the Patriot Act.

2000 Chrysler Voyager

No plastic wheel covers that would likely look like broken frisbees by this point. No passenger door for the driver’s side that would probably drop off its hinge. No rear air, which also happens to be a retail killer here in Georgia. As a sixth strike here in heat and humidity central, this minivan supplements the lack of a rear chiller with no tinting of any serious consequence for the side and rear windows. You better have a garage if you buy this one!

2000 Chrysler Voyager

On paper, this appears to be one of those unsellable cars. But wait, are those aftermarket power windows on the left hand side of the door? The interior is relatively clean which adds some healthy bonus points to what is a spartan interior. The 2.4L four-cylinder seeing a 16 year run in the Neon and PT Cruiser has a similar presence in these particular Chrysler minivans. I strongly prefer the widely revered 3.3L V6, but this particular van may be better than most others of its time, given it’s the last year of its generation and the interior hasn’t been hopelessly white-trashed all to hell.

 

This was more than likely a retiree’s van. All three rows are there and the little things, such as the plasticized bumpers and rear taillights, are still fully intact and in cosmetically sound shape. That isn’t too common when it comes to these 15+ year old mini minivans. So, who should buy it?

2002 Aston Martin DB7

Vehicle #2 is a rolling testament to the Travis Tritt song T-R-O-U-B-L -E.

2002 Aston Martin DB7

This is a 2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage. 4 owners. 29,000 original miles. Plus one of these unusual units.

2002 Aston Martin DB7

It may look exotic, but what you’re really getting are two Ford Duratec engines fused together in one powerplant. The 5.9 Liter V12 offers a rip roaring 424 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, which apparently helps make this car the perfect long-distance highway cruiser according to the folks at Car & Driver. This Aston Martin may have never trounced a competitor in the comparos of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a helluva bang-for-the-buck for the used car shopper who can handle the maintenance and the fuel bills.

2002 Aston Martin DB7

Those seats are drop dead gorgeous… and the dash is…

2002 Aston Martin DB7

Pretty nice from about seven feet away. Let’s get closer…

2002 Aston Martin DB7

Well that looks a bit retro. I wonder about those three little holes. Up close it detracts a bit from the design – although, I would probably appreciate the ease of removing that section of the car soon enough. On the other hand, the steering wheel is…

2002 Aston Martin DB7

A bit large, and surprisingly spartan compared to the modern day 24 button à la carte which seems to come standard in everything from Camrys to Cadillacs these days. To be frank, I like the Aston Martin’s approach a lot better than the modern day one.

2002 Aston Martin DB7

There are some unusual benefits to owning a car whose design dates back to 1994 and was conceived in a less technologically complex time. The 11 miles per gallon in the city would make it a gas hog par excellence for intown, but the 19 miles per gallon on the highway would likely be worth the long-term experience for that highly unusual customer who wants to rack miles on an exotic convertible cruiser with distinctly British flair.

2002 Aston Martin DB7

Or maybe it would be better off as a Sunday driver and a glorified museum place. I always loved the looks of these things, but never enough to pull the trigger on one.

So what type of customers would make the best customers for the Aston Van… and the minivan? You make the call!

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Capsule Review: 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/capsule-review-2014-rolls-royce-wraith/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/capsule-review-2014-rolls-royce-wraith/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 13:45:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=648370 As part of TTAC’s reboot, we promised you, the readers, many things. One of them was “no more luxury car puff pieces”. Jack and I had every intention of adhering to this rule as well, until our staff email inbox received a message from Rolls Royce Motorcars, asking us to come drive the all-new Wraith. […]

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desertside

As part of TTAC’s reboot, we promised you, the readers, many things. One of them was “no more luxury car puff pieces”. Jack and I had every intention of adhering to this rule as well, until our staff email inbox received a message from Rolls Royce Motorcars, asking us to come drive the all-new Wraith.

“Go on the program,” said Jack, “and imagine that you are reviewing a Camry”.

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The Wraith is not the car that one would typically expect from Rolls-Royce. It used to be that Bentley focused on cars that one would personally drive, while Rolls-Royce was the vehicle of choice for those who preferred to sit in the back seat. But ever since the forced separation of the two marques in 1998, the two have been competing for the same buyers.

Rolls-Royce won’t expressly say that this car is targeted at Bentley customers, just that it’s sportier, with more of a focus on driver engagement and outright performance – the sort of cars that Bentley traditionally offered alongside Rolls-Royce. What they really did say is that the Wraith targeted at “young entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s”, an assertion that is as starkly detached from reality as Steve Cohen’s remark that the $100,000 sum needed to replace the dead shark in his office was “inconsequential”. Or perhaps there are customers in the BRIC nations who are under 40 and have made their fortune by building a better mouse trap, rather than collecting a parental stipend. Only their marketing team knows.

blue

In person, the Wraith is as dramatic as the Phantom itself. The enormous front end is a concession to the aesthetic of contemporary high-end luxury goods, which our social betters have decided must be gauche and ostentatious. But the fastback profile is undeniably elegant, with a gently sloping roof line that recalls the coach-built cars of the pre-WWII era. The two-tone paint of my test car highlights the Wraith’s forms, but remains incapable of doing it justice. Another example, finished in a royal blue shade known as Salmanaca, looked like a modern interpretation of a Bugatti Atlantic from aft of the A-pillar.

The overall atmosphere of “bespoke” extends to the interior as well. Whereas contemporary Bentleys leave you with a lingering sense that you’re in a very nicely appointed variant of an Audi A8L, there is but one clue that today’s Rolls-Royce shares its bones with something as upper-middle-class as a BMW 7-Series. The gear selector, mounted on the steering column, will remind you of the very first Bangle Siebener. The newest 7-Series has abandoned the stalk setup for a proper gearstick. but it doesn’t have the superlative interior finishings of the Roller. The wood trim in the Wraith has more in common with a fine hardwood parquet floor than any of the Zebrano veneers that most people are familiar with, while the upholstery wouldn’t be out of place in the leather goods section of  Bergdorf Goodman. Every single panel, knob, switch and interior component is jewel-like, perfectly placed and installed, and for good reason.

The interior is the focal point of this car. It’s what you are supposed to take in as you glide down the road in utter isolation. For all the talk of this being a “driver oriented” Rolls-Royce, it’s more akin to a two-and-a-half ton drawing-room with four club chairs. Even with a 623 horsepower twin-turbo V12, there is nothing beyond a vague sense of forward motion to indicate that you are piloting the fastest production Rolls-Royce ever.  This boosted bent twelve is the last word in linear power delivery. Press the throttle, and the car summons all its might instantaneously, almost like a Tesla Model S with just the briefest pause before you feel maximum torque.

The 8-speed automatic uses a GPS-based system to change gears based on the type of terrain you are navigating, downshifting on grades and upshifting on flat roads to make sure the car is in the right gear at the right time – all without you ever knowing. There is very little feedback from the oversized steering wheel (another beautiful component, but one more at home in a marine application), while the handling and braking capabilities of the car are merely an afterthought. This is a slow speed cruiser, not some sort of grand tourer capable of carving up back roads if need be.

desertrear

That impression is only furthered by the Wraith’s concerted attempt to filter out every single bit of sensory feedback from the driving experience. Wind, engine, road and tire noise are perfectly isolated, as are most potholes, bumps and road imperfections. The overall silence borders on eerie – stopping in the middle of the desert to take photographs, I was struck by how the still, motionless desert was actually nosier than when I was inside the car, on account of the passing cars on the two-lane highway. Get back inside the Wraith, and it is utterly silent, something that I’ve only experienced sitting in a canoe on a remote lake in Northern Ontario hundreds of miles from civilization.

The only thing it couldn’t filter out was the homeless man sitting at the end of the freeway ramp, eyeing the Wraith intently when I exited. Lacking any American currency smaller than a $20 bill, I was utterly paralyzed in this situation – to give him spare change would have been an insult. To roll down the window and say “sorry”, or dismiss him with the wave of the hand would have been acceptable in a normal car, but even more distasteful given the circumstances. In a $300,000 Rolls-Royce, there is no option that isn’t unseemly or downright cowardly. Especially if it’s avoiding eye contact and praying for the light to turn green like I did.

There was a time when Rolls-Royce claimed to make the best car in the world. The cost was a by-product of that mission. But in 2013, quantity of MSRP has a quality all its own, and the company now finds itself in the uneasy position of attempting to build vehicles that justify a particular price.

Although I’m far from averse to automobiles that attract attention, there’s a big difference between driving something that makes an advertisement of personal wealth as its primary mission, and an exotic car full of visual and aural drama. When you leave the lights in a Jaguar F-Type, an Audi R8 or a Ferrari F12, you can revel in the noise of the motor, the clacking of the gated shifter or the sheer occasion of being behind the wheel of a front-engined, V12 supercar. Those cars are able to transport you to an alternate world where you are the star of a 9000 rpm music video in full-on sensory overload.

Not so in the Rolls-Royce Wraith. Instead, you glide away in utter silence, feeling, hearing and experiencing nothing that is not in your own mind – sophistry in motion. It is very easy to become disconnected from the rest of the world, to avoid making eye contact with the homeless man and lose touch with the rest of life’s other unpleasant realities. Being alone with your own thoughts, conflicts and internal misgivings is difficult enough. In a $300,000 four-wheeled sensory deprivation tank, it’s downright terrifying.

Rolls-Royce provided airfare, meals, lodging and transfers for the media drive of the Wraith, as well as the vehicle, insurance and a full tank of gas.

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Rarer Than The Veyron, At A Fraction Of The Cost http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/rarer-than-the-veyron-and-a-fraction-of-the-cost/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/rarer-than-the-veyron-and-a-fraction-of-the-cost/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 17:12:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=472606 If you want a modern Bugatti that’s more exclusive than the Veyron, and cheaper too, here’s your chance. This 1994 Bugatti EB110 can be picked up for $415,000 – far less than the 7 figure pricetag a new Veyron commands – but with just 139 cars built, is destined to be a far rarer sight […]

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If you want a modern Bugatti that’s more exclusive than the Veyron, and cheaper too, here’s your chance.

This 1994 Bugatti EB110 can be picked up for $415,000 – far less than the 7 figure pricetag a new Veyron commands – but with just 139 cars built, is destined to be a far rarer sight than the bloated orcas that populate every rap video and Gulf State shopping mall.

The EB110 is no technical lightweight either. When it was introduced in 1991, it was the first example of a road-going vehicle with a carbon fiber tub. The body panels were aluminum, while the 3.5L V12 featured four turbochargers and revved to an incredible 9,000 RPM.

While the Bring-A-Trailer ad correctly asserts that keeping this car running will cost a fortune, what supercar isn’t a nightmare to run? No matter what the cost of spares and maintenance is for an EB110, it will undoubtedly be less than the absurdly expensive Veyron maintenance program, and the car has character in spades – unlike Herr Piech’s mostly-automated death machine.

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Lamborghini Sees Demand Flattening For Ultra-Luxury Cars, SUV Not A Done Deal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/lamborghini-sees-demand-flattening-for-ultra-luxury-cars-suv-not-a-done-deal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/lamborghini-sees-demand-flattening-for-ultra-luxury-cars-suv-not-a-done-deal/#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 18:36:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466917 Amid flat growth for the ultra-luxury segment, Lamborghini may kill their luxury SUV project to save money. The Urus, widely panned by the automotive media, debuted earlier this year, but may die on the vine due to the potential downsides of such an ambitious project. Speaking to Reuters, Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann said “It’s meaning […]

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Amid flat growth for the ultra-luxury segment, Lamborghini may kill their luxury SUV project to save money.

The Urus, widely panned by the automotive media, debuted earlier this year, but may die on the vine due to the potential downsides of such an ambitious project. Speaking to Reuters, Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann said

“It’s meaning to double the size of the company in every sense in a difficult economic environment, so we have to think twice if the project is valuable,” 

While sales are up for 2012, Winkelmann is expecting 2013 to be flat, despite a long waiting list for the Aventador and the introduction of a new roadster variant. The implosion of Europe’s economy has impeded Lamborghini’s quest to bring sales back to their pre-recession highs. If the Urus, a vehicle sure to be snatched up in SUV-hungry markets like China and Russia, can’t get off the ground, then we’re looking at an indicator of uncertain times.

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New York 2012: 2013 SRT Viper; Real Pictures http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/new-york-2012-2013-srt-viper-real-pictures/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/new-york-2012-2013-srt-viper-real-pictures/#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 17:09:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438191 8.4 liters. 10 cylinders. 640 horsepower. 600 lb-ft of torque. 3297 pounds. It’s still a Viper. Here’s the long awaited 2013 SRT Viper. There is only one choice, a 6 speed manual transmission. Weight is down while power is up. Stability control and an 8.4 inch touch screen are concessions to comfort, but there will […]

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8.4 liters. 10 cylinders. 640 horsepower. 600 lb-ft of torque. 3297 pounds. It’s still a Viper.

Here’s the long awaited 2013 SRT Viper. There is only one choice, a 6 speed manual transmission. Weight is down while power is up. Stability control and an 8.4 inch touch screen are concessions to comfort, but there will be a track version that loses another 57 pounds. Sounds like the right concept. Execution will be an entirely different matter.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2013srtviper6 2013srtviper5 2013srtviper4 2013srtviper3 2013srtviper2 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Chrysler. 2013srtviper 2013srtviper7

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2013 SRT Viper Revealed In Screen Grabs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2013-srt-viper-revealed-in-screen-grabs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/2013-srt-viper-revealed-in-screen-grabs/#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2012 20:38:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=438024 Inside Line has screen grabs of the 2013 SRT Viper. We have the gallery below. Tomorrow, Jack and Byron will bring us live shots and details. Until then, this is what we’ve got.  

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Inside Line has screen grabs of the 2013 SRT Viper. We have the gallery below.

Tomorrow, Jack and Byron will bring us live shots and details. Until then, this is what we’ve got.

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Inside Line. 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Inside Line. 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Inside Line. 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Inside Line. 2013 SRT Viper. Photo courtesy Inside Line.

 

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